Seychelles has taken the opportunity to launch its new tourism campaign, “The Seychelles Islands…accessible as never before,” at the FITUR tourism fair in Madrid, held between January 18-22, 2012.
The new campaign is a reflection of Seychelles’ determination to further raise its profile on the international stage at a time when it is facing the twin challenges of recession in several of its core European markets and difficulties with air access following Air Seychelles’ cessation of direct flights to European destinations.
“We must not forget that tourism is an industry where perceptions play a strong role in molding consumer opinion,” stated Alain St. Ange, CEO of the Seychelles’ Tourism Board, “…and Seychelles still suffers from the perception of being an expensive destination and this, at such a time, is not to our advantage. We must continue to do all our in our power to build and maintain an image of Seychelles that reflects the wide choice of accommodation options now on offer and also the fact that Seychelles remains accessible to travelers, despite the cessation of some of Air Seychelles’ services.”
The new tourism campaign plays to Seychelles’ strengths of having a varied basket of accommodation choices for today’s visitor, ranging from the pampering comforts of 5-star resorts and the exclusivity of island resorts, to the homely charms of small hotels, Creole guesthouses, and self -catering establishments. “Today’s accommodation options reflect not only the growing diversity of our product, but also how Seychelles has something to offer for every budget,” emphasized St. Ange.
The “Accessible as never before” campaign also advertises the fact that the archipelago remains accessible to travelers through the introduction of two direct, nonstop flights by Air Austral from Paris to Seychelles, effective from March 2012. This will be further reinforced by a service from the Italian Airline, Blue Panorama, commencing on February 14 with one Rome-Milan-Seychelles sector, extending to two flights a week by July 2012. Also, Ethiopian Airlines is expected to commence services to Seychelles through its global network (Africa, Europe, Americas, and the Far East) on April 1, 2012.
These services come over and above Seychelles’ existing partnerships with Emirates (12 flights a week to Seychelles); Qatar (7 flights per week to Seychelles); Etihad (4 flights a week to Seychelles); Condor direct, non-stop from Frankfurt to Seychelles once a week; Kenya Airways twice a week flights to Seychelles with their partnership agreements with KLM and Air France; and Air Seychelles’ flights to Mauritius and South Africa.
“Our new stance perfectly echoes the precepts of Seychelles’ brand of tourism, in which the small, independent operator most definitely has a role to play that can only strengthen Seychelles’ appeal to a broader spectrum of consumers,” added St. Ange.
Representatives from Mason’s Travel, Seychelles Connect, and Raffles Resort of Praslin joined the Seychelles Tourism Board’s delegation at Fitur in Madrid in Spain. The Tourism Board’s delegation was headed by Alain St.Ange, and comprised of Bernadette Willemin, the Board’s European Director; Monica Gonzalez, the Board’s Manager in Spain; Glynn Burridge, the Board’s Copy Writer and Consultant; and Ralph Hissen, the Board Manager for International Cooperation. “Mason’s Travel, Seychelles Connect, and Raffles Resort of Praslin joined the Tourism Board’s efforts to consolidate the Seychelles market in Spain. They want that business and believe they are prepared for the Spanish Market. We thank them for their support and for being at Fitur 2012,” Alain St.Ange said in Spain.